Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 38

Thread: Raising Chickens

  1. #1
    Super Member henryparrish76's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    3,581
    Blog Entries
    2
    Okay so does anyone do this for eggs?
    If so, where do you buy the hens from etc......
    It is something I have been thinking about lately.....

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    922
    Nothin' as good as a fresh farm egg. You can get your baby chicks from a hatchery, the local farm store, neighbors, local swap meet and keep an eye on your local paper. Spread the word, you may find someone wanting to get rid of theirs. Do your research on housing and feed. Don't forget preditors either, racoons killed every one of my first batch of hens. Also coyotes, hawks and snakes do their dirty deeds too. Housing has to be very secure. The little banty's are really cute and there are chickens that lay colored eggs. Enjoy.

  3. #3
    PrettyKitty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Dudley, UK
    Posts
    911
    We had six chickens when I was little, was great to have fresh eggs. But they got killed by foxes eventually.

    Then my Mom decided to get some again when I was a teenager. From what I remember it cost quite a bit for a good quality secure hen house. And the enclosure needs to have the chicken wire walls dug down and buried into the ground otherwise the foxes can pull it up if not secure enough. Despite all this the foxes got all of them one night when they were not shut away in the main hen house at night.

    Don't let that put you off! I think it would be a great thing to do, depsite the initial cost of the hens and the equiptment and food etc, in the long run it will save you on buying eggs, and you can always sell the eggs too! And the sound of hens is so friendly and warm as they cluck at you in the morning. And you cal tell when they are laying an egg....squaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwkkkkk!!!!

  4. #4
    Senior Member CindyBee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    739
    Henry, I had hens for eggs. I kept 6 and they were like pets. I would still keep them, but we built a house on the land where we used to keep them and no room now. As others mentioned, you need a secure hen house to house them at night. My hens were loose during the day to free range in the huge garden we used to have. I purchased my chicks at a feed store and they were not fully fledged. They had to stay in large box with a light on to keep warm. You feed them chicken feed which you can purcase at the feed store as well. They need to eat gravel too and fresh water too. And straw to roost on. Be prepared to muck their stalls - they poop a lot! It's all good though because it's an excellent fertilizer and be added to compost for the garden. I think they were about 4-5 months old when they started to lay. You don't need a rooster for eggs, only if you want baby chicks. Roosters can be mean!

    Also, if they do not free range, they will quickly remove every blade of grass from their enclosure. It can get rather nasty and muddy.

  5. #5
    k3n
    k3n is offline
    Power Poster k3n's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Somerset, England
    Posts
    10,712
    Blog Entries
    1
    Can't really add anything to the above - only add my vote for chicken keeping! I have six girls and they keep my family of four in eggs, my mum and dad mostly as well and some over for friends and family who visit. Last year for a while I was without chickens and the supermarket eggs - even the free-range farm fresh ones were tasteless in comparison. We do shut ours up every night in a little stone barn, though or the foxes would get them. We feed them layers pellets but I also cook up all scraps, veggy peelings etc on the back of the woodburner overnight - they love that!
    In winter they free range the garden and eat lots of pests. From spring onwards, they're confined to a large run off the side of their house cos they eat the flowers otherwise! It is a very large run though, so I would still class them as free range.
    K x

  6. #6
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    5,722
    You can order them on line. Our local Tractor Supply store sell them and usually the feed stores. I can remember my dad picking them up at the PO :D

  7. #7
    Super Member henryparrish76's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    3,581
    Blog Entries
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by Ruth Camp
    You can order them on line. Our local Tractor Supply store sell them and usually the feed stores. I can remember my dad picking them up at the PO :D
    Wow you can order them online? Nothing ever ceases to amaze me.

  8. #8
    Super Member Tiffany's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Idaho Falls
    Posts
    1,908
    Quote Originally Posted by CindyBee
    Henry, I had hens for eggs. I kept 6 and they were like pets. I would still keep them, but we built a house on the land where we used to keep them and no room now. As others mentioned, you need a secure hen house to house them at night. My hens were loose during the day to free range in the huge garden we used to have. I purchased my chicks at a feed store and they were not fully fledged. They had to stay in large box with a light on to keep warm. You feed them chicken feed which you can purcase at the feed store as well. They need to eat gravel too and fresh water too. And straw to roost on. Be prepared to muck their stalls - they poop a lot! It's all good though because it's an excellent fertilizer and be added to compost for the garden. I think they were about 4-5 months old when they started to lay. You don't need a rooster for eggs, only if you want baby chicks. Roosters can be mean!

    Also, if they do not free range, they will quickly remove every blade of grass from their enclosure. It can get rather nasty and muddy.
    I used to raise a flock of about 50 chickens, mainly for eggs. I would use what I needed and sell the excess. Cindy covered a lot so I won't repeat any of it. Here are some of the things I learned in addition to what Cindy covered. You want to either feed them back their shells or get oyster shell bits to throw on the ground for them. The calcium strengthens the shells - And YES, you can get the shells too strong. :P I always kept a rooster simply because fertilized eggs are higher in several nutrients. And despite what many people believe, if you get an egg with a blood spot inside, it is NOT because it is a fertilized egg. It is because the hen strained too hard to lay the egg, thus causing the blood spot. Poor hen! Depending on the breed of chicken, your hen can lay 1 egg every day or 1 egg every 1-3 days. Do NOT wash the eggs as you collect them. Each egg has a protective coating on it that is natural from the hen. This protection keeps bacteria and other nasties from getting through the membrane and making the egg bad.

    Interesting facts...My aunt used to sell eggs to Albertsons. You can bury eggs in cool sand and they will remain good for up to a year. What a thought! :? Of course our society consumes eggs so rapidly that such methods are no longer needed and the eggs you get in the store are usually only 1-3 months old.

    If you do not have anyone local who raises chickens to talk to, check out your local 4-H. They should have someone who will be able to give you all sorts of insight into raising chickens and will be able to point you in the right direction for where to buy the best chickens and equipment/feed for your area.

    One thing to consider when buying feed. If the corn inside the feed has been genetically modified (which over 80% of the corn in America is now), you should realize that tests have shown that the modifications can be passed down into the egg. It is unknown how it affects the human body but I would be cautious feeding it to small children and infants. JMO.

  9. #9
    Senior Member countrymaid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    down on the farm, NY
    Posts
    474
    Golden Comets are my favorite. I just ordered 3 dozen day old chicks through the hardware store. They come from a hatchery in Ohio. They will come in the mail on May 1st. I paid the extra for pullets rather than straight run (sexed females vs whatevers in the box). The college I work at is all about Creation Care and going green. I've been selling my extra eggs here at work for a couple of years now. Check your state Ag & Markets for regulations.

    My new birds will start laying late August. Extension Office is a great resourse. You can even find online chat rooms about raising chickens. Chick starter to begin with, layer mash closer to laying time. With a good feed you shouldn't need to add extra grit (crushed oyster shell) to their diet. Layer boxes, a good perch, dry bedding, free choice their feed. My hen house is 12' x 12'. I do not let them out because of the dogs. We also have a bald eagle nesting near us and lots of hawks.

    I bought 20 chicks two years ago and still have them all. They weren't happy with our long cold winter. Their egg production is coming back, about 14 eggs a day now. They'll be soup this fall.

    We have one banty that came from the farm store. She's 3 and is just fun to have around.

    Good luck,

  10. #10
    Super Member henryparrish76's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    3,581
    Blog Entries
    2
    Thanks everybody. You have been very helpful :)

  11. #11
    Super Member henryparrish76's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    3,581
    Blog Entries
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by Tiffany
    Quote Originally Posted by CindyBee
    Henry, I had hens for eggs. I kept 6 and they were like pets. I would still keep them, but we built a house on the land where we used to keep them and no room now. As others mentioned, you need a secure hen house to house them at night. My hens were loose during the day to free range in the huge garden we used to have. I purchased my chicks at a feed store and they were not fully fledged. They had to stay in large box with a light on to keep warm. You feed them chicken feed which you can purcase at the feed store as well. They need to eat gravel too and fresh water too. And straw to roost on. Be prepared to muck their stalls - they poop a lot! It's all good though because it's an excellent fertilizer and be added to compost for the garden. I think they were about 4-5 months old when they started to lay. You don't need a rooster for eggs, only if you want baby chicks. Roosters can be mean!

    Also, if they do not free range, they will quickly remove every blade of grass from their enclosure. It can get rather nasty and muddy.
    I used to raise a flock of about 50 chickens, mainly for eggs. I would use what I needed and sell the excess. Cindy covered a lot so I won't repeat any of it. Here are some of the things I learned in addition to what Cindy covered. You want to either feed them back their shells or get oyster shell bits to throw on the ground for them. The calcium strengthens the shells - And YES, you can get the shells too strong. :P I always kept a rooster simply because fertilized eggs are higher in several nutrients. And despite what many people believe, if you get an egg with a blood spot inside, it is NOT because it is a fertilized egg. It is because the hen strained too hard to lay the egg, thus causing the blood spot. Poor hen! Depending on the breed of chicken, your hen can lay 1 egg every day or 1 egg every 1-3 days. Do NOT wash the eggs as you collect them. Each egg has a protective coating on it that is natural from the hen. This protection keeps bacteria and other nasties from getting through the membrane and making the egg bad.

    Interesting facts...My aunt used to sell eggs to Albertsons. You can bury eggs in cool sand and they will remain good for up to a year. What a thought! :? Of course our society consumes eggs so rapidly that such methods are no longer needed and the eggs you get in the store are usually only 1-3 months old.

    If you do not have anyone local who raises chickens to talk to, check out your local 4-H. They should have someone who will be able to give you all sorts of insight into raising chickens and will be able to point you in the right direction for where to buy the best chickens and equipment/feed for your area.

    One thing to consider when buying feed. If the corn inside the feed has been genetically modified (which over 80% of the corn in America is now), you should realize that tests have shown that the modifications can be passed down into the egg. It is unknown how it affects the human body but I would be cautious feeding it to small children and infants. JMO.
    Wow! 50! I am not wanting to raise that many but all of your information is something to think about. Thanks!

  12. #12
    Super Member henryparrish76's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    3,581
    Blog Entries
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by countrymaid
    Golden Comets are my favorite. I just ordered 3 dozen day old chicks through the hardware store. They come from a hatchery in Ohio. They will come in the mail on May 1st. I paid the extra for pullets rather than straight run (sexed females vs whatevers in the box). The college I work at is all about Creation Care and going green. I've been selling my extra eggs here at work for a couple of years now. Check your state Ag & Markets for regulations.

    My new birds will start laying late August. Extension Office is a great resourse. You can even find online chat rooms about raising chickens. Chick starter to begin with, layer mash closer to laying time. With a good feed you shouldn't need to add extra grit (crushed oyster shell) to their diet. Layer boxes, a good perch, dry bedding, free choice their feed. My hen house is 12' x 12'. I do not let them out because of the dogs. We also have a bald eagle nesting near us and lots of hawks.

    I bought 20 chicks two years ago and still have them all. They weren't happy with our long cold winter. Their egg production is coming back, about 14 eggs a day now. They'll be soup this fall.

    We have one banty that came from the farm store. She's 3 and is just fun to have around.

    Good luck,
    So whats a good chicken to get when you live in a small town and have a small backyard, so therefore would need to build a small coop and run????

  13. #13
    Senior Member countrymaid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    down on the farm, NY
    Posts
    474
    I like the colored breeds. They tend to be a quieter bird and easier to handle. Here's a link http://www.ridgwayhatchery.com/chickens.htm

  14. #14
    Super Member henryparrish76's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    3,581
    Blog Entries
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by countrymaid
    I like the colored breeds. They tend to be a quieter bird and easier to handle. Here's a link http://www.ridgwayhatchery.com/chickens.htm
    Thanks for the link! :)

  15. #15
    ButtercreamCakeArtist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    2,282
    My DD has a rooster, and I'm asking for another for my son. I have also been wanting to get a few chickens, but we will have to expand our lot. I want to get some banty chickens, the small ones that lay really small eggs. My Aunt is also going to bring me a Rhode Island Red! :D
    Farm fresh eggs are the best!
    Do you have a local feed store? At ours, they have a yearly "chick day", when you buy a sack of feed and get so many biddies for free. Or you can order whatever kinds of chickens and roosters you want from there.
    I can hear DD's new rooster crowing right now. He's white with feathers on his feet. The other one I'm going to ask if my son can have is red. They're just going to butcher them, I think, so I may save his life!

  16. #16
    k3n
    k3n is offline
    Power Poster k3n's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Somerset, England
    Posts
    10,712
    Blog Entries
    1
    One thing I would caution against bantams, cute and lovely as they are - mine were always going broody, which is great if you want to hatch more chicks (obviously you must have a rooster!) but NOT if you want them for eggs. I don't keep bantams anymore for this reason.

    K x

  17. #17
    ButtercreamCakeArtist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    2,282
    Quote Originally Posted by k3n
    One thing I would caution against bantams, cute and lovely as they are - mine were always going broody, which is great if you want to hatch more chicks (obviously you must have a rooster!) but NOT if you want them for eggs. I don't keep bantams anymore for this reason.

    K x
    a regular rooster and a banty/bantum hen would....be the same?

  18. #18
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    9,664
    My brother-in-law has a couple of chickens just for the eggs. He was telling me the other day about live chicks for sale at Rural King.

  19. #19
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    4,851
    I used to be a free range chicken farmer and agree 100% on Comets - huge brown eggs, not too broody, and such sweet dispositions! Purple Wyandottes are another favorite of mine, but they are sneaky and can escape pens and end up in crazy places (mine were nicknamed the Houdini sisters).

    You are in Wake County, right? There used to be some big hatcheries near Pittsford, I believe. The Raleigh fairgrounds flea market may have som, too. The County Home extension office can get you in touch with local hatcheries. You may want to get some older chicks rather than invest in lights and chick waterers. Put an ad in your local Craigslist for poultry supplies. I used the hanging feeders that could not be tipped over. on one wall of the henhouse, I kept a small feeder full of oyster shell in case they wanted some - one bag lasted years.

    You want to make sure you can secure them at night - raccoons will see a henhouse as a KFC!

  20. #20
    Super Member henryparrish76's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    3,581
    Blog Entries
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by ButtercreamCakeArtist
    My DD has a rooster, and I'm asking for another for my son. I have also been wanting to get a few chickens, but we will have to expand our lot. I want to get some banty chickens, the small ones that lay really small eggs. My Aunt is also going to bring me a Rhode Island Red! :D
    Farm fresh eggs are the best!
    Do you have a local feed store? At ours, they have a yearly "chick day", when you buy a sack of feed and get so many biddies for free. Or you can order whatever kinds of chickens and roosters you want from there.
    I can hear DD's new rooster crowing right now. He's white with feathers on his feet. The other one I'm going to ask if my son can have is red. They're just going to butcher them, I think, so I may save his life!
    I dont know if we have a local feed store or not and I dont have a yellow pages so I am going to look it up online and see.

    I talked to my grandma. She used to keep chickens, she told me to get the Rhode Island Red or to get the Banty chickens cause they are small and lay small eggs if space is a concern for me.

  21. #21
    Super Member henryparrish76's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    3,581
    Blog Entries
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by Moonpi
    I used to be a free range chicken farmer and agree 100% on Comets - huge brown eggs, not too broody, and such sweet dispositions! Purple Wyandottes are another favorite of mine, but they are sneaky and can escape pens and end up in crazy places (mine were nicknamed the Houdini sisters).

    You are in Wake County, right? There used to be some big hatcheries near Pittsford, I believe. The Raleigh fairgrounds flea market may have som, too. The County Home extension office can get you in touch with local hatcheries. You may want to get some older chicks rather than invest in lights and chick waterers. Put an ad in your local Craigslist for poultry supplies. I used the hanging feeders that could not be tipped over. on one wall of the henhouse, I kept a small feeder full of oyster shell in case they wanted some - one bag lasted years.

    You want to make sure you can secure them at night - raccoons will see a henhouse as a KFC!
    I hadn't heard about Comets. I do need one that is of a sweet disposition...LOL I dont want to be pecked to death for trying to get their eggs...LOL
    Yes I am in Wake County. Ill try the fairgrounds flea market and Ill call the county home extension as well.

  22. #22
    Senior Member CindyBee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    739
    Henry,

    Check out the Eglu!
    http://www.mypetchicken.com/Chicken_...ens_-P127.aspx

    Talking about the chickens has brought back so many fond memories! All 6 of my girls had names and would you believe one was named Henrietta, LOL. They were Buff Orpingtons, very sweet disposition. It was so funny to watch them pecking in the garden. If one found a bug or scratched up a worm, they'd all come running. Chicken fight! Well, squabble really. My Corgi dog would herd them into their coop each evening, and believe me she could count. Now I am longing for hens again. The Eglu might just do the trick.

  23. #23
    Super Member henryparrish76's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    3,581
    Blog Entries
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by CindyBee
    Henry,

    Check out the Eglu!
    http://www.mypetchicken.com/Chicken_...ens_-P127.aspx

    Talking about the chickens has brought back so many fond memories! All 6 of my girls had names and would you believe one was named Henrietta, LOL. They were Buff Orpingtons, very sweet disposition. It was so funny to watch them pecking in the garden. If one found a bug or scratched up a worm, they'd all come running. Chicken fight! Well, squabble really. My Corgi dog would herd them into their coop each evening, and believe me she could count. Now I am longing for hens again. The Eglu might just do the trick.

    Hmmm interesting.....this might be an option.

  24. #24
    Senior Member CindyBee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    739
    Orpingtons:
    http://www.backyardchickens.com/breeds/orpingtons.html

    They get my vote for the gentleman/woman farmer :D

    Edited to correct my link

  25. #25
    Super Member henryparrish76's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    3,581
    Blog Entries
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by CindyBee
    Orpingtons:
    http://www.backyardchickens.com/breeds/orpingtons.html

    They get my vote for the gentleman/woman farmer :D

    Edited to correct my link
    That looks like a good breed, thanks for the link.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.